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How Much Space Do You Get For $10k/Month?

In Hong Kong, a rental budget of US$10,000 a month will buy less than 1,500 square feet of living space. In Madrid, triple that.


Despite the headwinds of the pandemic and ongoing political uncertainty, Hong Kong has retained its crown as the world's most expensive city to rent a prime, three-bedroom apartment in the world, according to a survey by Knight Frank.

Prime rents in the city averaged US$6.7 per sq ft at the end of 2020, meaning a rental budget of US$10,000 per month would give you less than 1,500 square feet of living space.

The international agent's global comparisons were based on a three-bedroom apartment in a central location. Earlier this year a house on Hong Kong’s The Peak, No.1 at 11 Plantation Road, rented for HK$1.35 million (US$174,000) a month, which on an annual basis equates to more than US$2 million a year. It was just over 10,000 square foot.

Although prime rents in Manhattan have softened since the start of the pandemic, New York is still the second most expensive market with US$10,000 a month providing US$2,250 square feet on average.

Next comes Singapore, London and Sydney which occupy the mid-rankings with US$10,000 renting between 2,500 and 3,000 square feet.

Shanghai offers a respectable 3,500 square feet of space for a US$10,000 monthly budget.

Of the eight cities tracked by the agent, Dubai and Madrid offer the largest space in return for rent of US$10,000 per month – 4,800 and 5,000 square feet respectively.

Rents in prime central London and Manhattan both fell 14 percent in the year to February 2021. However, the tide may be turning; the rate of rental declines is slowing and new lease signings are recovering in both markets. Knight Frank says that well-heeled tenants are making their move back into some city centres, with the prospect of quicker commutes when the dust settles on the pandemic.

Knight Frank’s Head of Prime Central London Lettings, David Mumby said: “As soon as the passenger numbers return via the main transport hubs, we will see fairly a rapid correction of the recent rent reductions.”

“Stock will return to the short-term Airbnb rental market and with a normalisation of office occupancy, the undersupply of prime property will drive rents upwards," he adds.